Are you ready to attract more legal clients in 2022? It’s a simple question that can take considerable planning.
The future of law firm marketing is now digital. Rainmaking in pre-COVID days focused on industry conferences and personal networking. While face-to-face connections are ideal, they are less available in our post-COVID world.
Listed below are seven action items guaranteed to accelerate your business development activities in 2022. They are listed in order of priority, so start at the top and work your way down.
#1. Marketing to Current Clients
An e-newsletter delivered by email can be a good way to reach busy clients and prospects, because it is fast, inexpensive, and easy to read. You also get a viral marketing benefit from electronic referrals when a client or prospect forwards your e-newsletter to someone in their circle of influence.
You will be able to see who opened your email, making it easy to monitor your “open” rates over time. Be advised that an open rate of 20% or less is not unusual, though.
We recommend a monthly newsletter cycle. Legal Expert Connections, Inc. is a Constant Contact business partner. We invite you to contact us to learn more about a newsletter, or click to learn more online.
A law firm that does not take the simple steps to optimize its presence on LinkedIn can be conspicuous by its absence. There is no excuse for not tapping into LinkedIn’s power as a business development tool.
Each attorney should populate their personal profile, using the steps below.
- Upload a current head shot. You can also customize a background image behind your profile photo that reflects your law firm or practice area.
- Clearly identify each employment opportunity with the date ranges, title, and a description.
- Fill in educational details for your undergraduate degree, J.D., and any other degrees.
- Take advantage of the “About” section to describe your career and accomplishments overall.
- List any licenses, awards, certifications, or publications.
- Build your personal connections by offering and accepting invitations.
At the law firm level, the firm should set up a “company page” (also free) and make sure all attorneys and staff members link their employment section to the firm’s company page.
The LinkedIn company page is where the firm can post news about awards, favorable outcomes, attorney recognition, charitable events, and more.
#3. Have a Law Firm Resume
A law firm resume that introduces the law firm to a prospective business client in a professional manner serves the same purpose as a personal resume used by a jobseeker.
A law firm resume is typically an electronic document in PDF format that introduces the law firm, key practice areas, the attorneys, and other information that prospective insurance defense clients want to know in order to consider a law firm for a panel position.
An individual practice group resume is also recommended in those cases where one practice area is taking the lead for their own business development. This might be the case for an employment defense practice or a cybersecurity practice within a larger law firm, for example.
Every law firm that wants to attract new business should maintain a professionally prepared law firm resume for use as a basic part of the business development process.
Once you have a law firm resume, you can also use the same content and graphic design to prepare a four-page law firm brochure.
#4. Representative Case List
While some law firms automatically keep track of significant cases by publishing them on their website and adding them to attorney bio pages, it is our experience that most insurance defense law firms do not produce and/or maintain a current representative case list.
This is somewhat ironic because an insurance defense law firm sells legal services focused on settling claims through dispositive motions, negotiated settlements, or litigation in a bench or jury trial. Failure to maintain a written track records of cases, updated at least quarterly, is an unforced error in the game of business development. Further, there is no cost—other than the cost of time—for this valuable selling tool that can make the difference in gaining the attention of a new insurance client.
Representative cases can be defined as significant trials, settlements, or motions to dismiss. It is best to feature cases in the past three to five years, unless an older case set a precedent that continues to be cited. If your firm does not go to trial often but has an active motion practice or settles cases quickly, list your best outcomes.
Client confidentiality is a definite consideration in creating your case list. It is best not to disclose a client name, either directly or through the citation of a published case. A better alternative is to describe the case generally, highlighting the issue in dispute, venue, dollar amounts involved, and outcome.
#5. Create a Target List
If your law firm wants to defend litigation matters on behalf of property and casualty insurers or corporate clients, the steps listed below identify the process you will need to follow.
- Build your “wish list” of prospective clients.
- Identify the person at each prospect company who oversees hiring law firms (this is easy to say and hard to do).
- Have your marketing materials ready as a way to introduce your law firm.
- Reach out to your prospect either in-person or with a targeted introduction email.
- Follow up as needed until you can connect with the prospect either via email or phone.
Your target list can include specific companies (like AIG, Chubb, and Travelers) or industries (like trucking or retail).
Developing a target list is an important first step. Reaching out to various prospects is a process that will take time and a coordinated effort. This project is best done within the context of a strong law firm marketing committee and/or under the guidance of an experienced insurance defense marketing consultant.
#6. Website Marketing
Your law firm website serves as a foundation for all your business development efforts, whether in the form of digital marketing or in-person networking. It may be time to refresh your website if it hasn’t changed much in the past one to two years.
Here are five important considerations in law firm website marketing.
- Attorney bio pages are the most heavily visited pages on your website. Every attorney should review and update their bio information as needed. A current head shot is also an important part of the bio page.
- Post a new item (like a blog post) to your website at least once a month. Once a week is even better!
- Search for your law firm on Google to see how it shows up in the search engines. You may want to update your firm description (found in the “title tag” or the “description” field).
- Make it easy for prospects to contact individual attorneys or a practice group with readily accessible phone numbers and email addresses.
- Add social media icons to your website, especially your LinkedIn company page. You can also show icons for awards and memberships.
#7. Advanced Law Firm Marketing Considerations for 2022
Once you’ve worked your way through items one to six above, below are more advanced business development concepts to address.
- Create a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (“DE&I”) statement and post it to your website.
- Describe your cybersecurity practices in detail. Clients are very interested in how you protect confidential data from loss, theft, or ransom attacks.
- Compile performance metrics that measure your average time to close a case and the average cost of a case. Metrics don’t need to be posted to your website (although a few law firms do so) but they could be shared in the context of new business development.
Always be prepared to discuss rates. Know what the going market rates are by line of practice, and position your firm in a competitive manner.
Summary for Law Firm Marketing in 2022
An experienced law firm marketing consultant can help your law firm marketing committee attract new law firm clients like insurance companies or self-insured entities using a proven business development approach.
One caution is to avoid random acts of marketing. New business often goes to the law firm with the best marketing, not the best legal services.
Insurance Defense Marketing Consultant for Law Firms
If your insurance defense firm is asking how you can improve your law marketing communications and business development efforts, give us a call. We have helped more than 220 insurance defense law firms in 40 states pursue new client opportunities.
Legal Expert Connections, Inc. offers three key benefits to insurance defense law firms nationwide:
- We are the leading U.S. legal marketing agency specializing in the insurance defense market. We make it our business to identify who you need to contact at an insurance company, corporation or municipality to be considered as a panel counsel member. We accelerate your business development process by helping you focus on introducing your law firm to new prospective clients.
- You get a structured business development process. We guide your law firm through a proven three-step campaign that brings discipline, focus, and productivity to your marketing efforts.
- Increase revenue with professional, Bar-compliant legal marketing campaigns. We do the research to identify insurance panel managers, so you can focus your time on the business development process.
This article is provided for educational purposes only. It is not to be interpreted as legal advice or an opinion in regard to any topic discussed. The article should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed attorney in your state. Every situation is different and circumstances vary widely depending on the governing state law, policy provisions, and related considerations.